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Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement Benefits Mood

A study of healthy older men shows a correlation between multivitamin use and beneficial effects on mood and decreased stress.

Previous research has shown a correlation between deficiencies in certain micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium, and negative mood symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Multivitamin supplements contain a range of these micronutrients, therefore maybe effective in improving moods.

A study performed by the National Institute of Complementary Medicine investigated the effects of a multivitamin, mineral, and herbal supplement on mood and stress in a group of healthy, older male volunteers. This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comprised of fifty men between the ages of 50-69. The trial took place over an 8 week period; the subjects were randomly assigned to take either a daily supplement that contained vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts, or a placebo, and completed a series of stress and mood questionnaires before and after the 8 week supplementation period.

In comparison with the placebo group, the supplement group showed a significant reduction on an anxiety and stress scale, an improvement in alertness, and an improvement in general daily function.
While this study only looked at healthy older men, the researchers believe that the results are relevant to all older people, and could be applicable to a much wider population citing evidence from other researches. Furthermore, this study examined the effects of chronic multivitamins supplementation over the period of several weeks; other studies have observed that acute mood improvements can also take place.

The study concluded that supplementation with a multivitamin, mineral and herbal formulation may be useful in improving alertness and reducing negative mood symptoms and may also improve feelings of general day-to-day well-being.

E Harris, J Kirk, R Roswell, et al. Human Psychopharmacology 2011. 26(8):560-7

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